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Emergence with graphic score by Candice Boyd at Sanatorium Lake Picnic Ground, Mt Macedon Sunday, 21 October 2018, 1 – 4 pm

This GAIP- hosted event was built on two provocations. The first was an emotional one, which took the form of a graphic score which was nailed up between two trees on the site. The second was the site itself – the Sanatorium Lake Picnic Ground on Mount Macedon. Candice, who made the graphic score, as well as Yan, Clinton, Michael, Ren, and Juana (at a distance) took part in the event. Libby Straughan, cultural geographer, was also present as an observer … and occasional participant!

The graphic score was painted on to a 1.5 x 7 metre piece of ethical silk from Cambodian using four earth pigments – Grey Ochre, Dark Yellow Ochre, Red Ochre, and Burnt Umber from Roussillon in France. The invitation to participate was:

Inspired by geography – geo {earth} + graphy {writing} this score invited an open improvisation of sound and movement on the theme of ‘emergence’. For me, the graphic score was created as an expression of the evolving relationship between my daughter and I as we transition into an adult relationship with each other, not knowing how to do that and not knowing what it might become. More broadly, it is about how we move from groundedness to uncertainty, and how we navigate the challenges of ‘moving on’ and ‘becoming different’.

In relation to the site, a second provocation was also put forward to participants on the day:

In June 2008, Parks Victoria bulldozed this site removing hundreds of aspen poplars, rhododendrons, and hollies which were planted in the late 1800s when this site was a sanatorium where people would come to convalesce.

A prominent horticulturist and members of the local community in the Macedon Ranges were outraged at the lack of consultation from Parks Victoria before they destroyed this piece of white colonial history …

… but what of the loss of country for the Wurundjeri, Dja Dja Wurrung and Taungurung?

At once private and public, the event unfolded over 3+ hours. The first half hour was captured on video in one shot: Like all GAIP-hosted events, it is difficult to describe in words, but in this instance, it contained elements of sonic improvisation, conversation, poetry, haptics, the spontaneous building of temporary sculptures out of broken wood, refuse, found and brought objects, and the careful and considered movement of bodies.

For me, as instigator of the event, I was surprised and delighted by the quiet intensity of the performance – the feeling of oneness with the site, the buoyant sense of connectedness between us as we came in and out of relation to each other, and the gentleness of thought that is perceptively-felt but unspoken. Juana’s participation via a planned intervention was very special. The closing of the performance via a silent, three-way meditation between Clinton, Michael, and Ren was profound. I cannot speak for the others, only that this event highlighted the beauty of GAIP for me – affirmative, generative, thoughtful, and refreshing!

- Candice

Some more photos …

Photo Credits: Candice Boyd

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